Anything to declare?
If you’ve heard that question before you’ve been through customs and immigration.
When presenting my passport and visa to an immigration officer for some strange reason I get really nervous and though I know for a fact that I have nothing to hide I feel genuinely afraid.
I enjoy watching border control programmes and I guess this adds to my chronic fear. Having passed through the united kingdom border agency too many times stepping up to the desk to make your intentions known can quickly have you tongue-tied after a barrage of questions by a highly efficient official. I sometimes think the staff are trained by the CIA to spot liars, cheats and all manners of deception. My worst fear is always being sent back to my country of origin because I just failed to make any sense. Fortunately this has never been the case.
Just thinking back to the many times I’ve been “interrogated” and the questions you face although they seem simple after being repeated in different ways can leave you flustered. Travelling with three minors adds further complications. So being good to your kids on the flight is very important because the last thing you need is a brat saying “I hate you, you’re not my mother” when questioned by the officials.
So passport stamped and bags picked up from the carousel at this point you’d think you’re home free. Oh no, now comes the ultimate choice. Nothing to declare or quite simply something to declare. Every traveller knows at this point there is no room for error.
Fortunately I have nothing to declare every time. With a spring in my step I float out of the airport!